The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership- based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycles with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., we take a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by encouraging product design changes and mediating stakeholder dialogues. With 47 state environmental agency members, along with hundreds of local government members from coast-to-coast, and 95 corporate, business, academic, non-U.S. government, and organizational partners, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both voluntary and legislative product stewardship initiatives across North America.
What Is Product Stewardship?
Product stewardship is the act of minimizing the health, safety, environmental, and social impacts of a product and its packaging throughout all lifecycle stages, in turn strengthening the local, regional, and national economy. Manufacturers have the greatest ability to minimize their products’ adverse impacts, but other stakeholders—such as suppliers, retailers, and consumers—also play a role. Stewardship can be either voluntary or required by law.
What Is Extended Producer Responsibility?
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a mandatory type of product stewardship in which manufacturers take primary financial responsibility for the post-consumer environmental, safety, and economic impacts of their products. When manufacturers are required, by law, to design, manufacture, and manage their products in environmentally responsible ways, the result will be products that are less toxic and less hazardous over the course of their lifecycles. Additionally, local taxpayers and governments will be relieved of financial and operational burdens of materials collection and management. Thus, there are two features of EPR policy: (1) shifting financial and management responsibility (with government oversight) upstream to the manufacturer and away from the public sector; and (2) providing incentives to manufacturers to incorporate environmental considerations into the design of their products and packaging.
What We Do
Using the Principles of Product Stewardship as its guide, PSI offers the following services:
- Research, Pilot Projects, and Evaluation
- Facilitation and Consensus Building
- Legislative Tracking, Analysis, and Advocacy
- Build Product Stewardship Capacity through Education and Empowerment